Stenlake Publishing - The Framlingham Branch

The Framlingham Branch

Author : Peter Paye
ISBN : 9780853616788
Cover : paperback
Price : £15.95

In Suffolk the cultivation of the land had for generations been the main industry, but agriculture was dependent on good transport to get produce to the market. The advent of the railways in East Anglia brought drastic improvements and after initial scepticism there was the urgent desire for towns to be served by the new lines. East Suffolk initially benefited with the building of the Halesworth, Beccles and Haddiscoe Railway. Its original focus was a link with the Norwich to Lowestoft line, connecting it directly with Norwich and Great Yarmouth, but no sooner was the original plan nearing completion than there was clamour for a southwards extension towards Ipswich. An Act of Parliament in 1854 gave authorisation to build a line from Haleswworth to Woodbridge, to connect with the Eastern Union Railway onto Ipswich. To engender further trade and traffic, the Act also authorised the building of a number of branches including one to the ancient market town of Framlingham. The main line and branches were ultimately opened for traffic in 1859.

Framlingham served as the railhead for a considerable area of rural East and Central Suffolk. The branch continued to serve the locality for almost half a century before the opening of the Mid Suffolk Light Railway in 1904 for goods traffic, and 1908 for passengers. Even then the loss of traffic was minimal and the Framlingham branch continued under the London & North Eastern Railway from 1923 and finally British Railways from 1948. The 1930s were lean years and after the Second World War much traffic transferred to the road. Passenger traffic was especially poor so that such services were withdrawn on 1st November 1952. Thereafter farmers and growers quickly transferred their custom to road transport and freight facilities were withdrawn from the branch on and from 19th April 1965 and the line closed completely. This then is the fascinating story of the Framlingham branch from conception to closure.

A5 format, 248, 255 illustrations.

The Framlingham Branch

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